ROSSBURG, OH - JUNE 08: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, and Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, drive during the running of Prelude To The Dream at Eldora Speedway on June 8, 2011 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images For True Speed Communications)
3 Total Updates since June 6, 2012
12 months ago Update 139 comments
The 2012 Prelude to the Dream charity dirt race is tonight at the Tony Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway, so let's watch it together on HBO Pay Per View.
If you can't watch it, we'll be giving updates here (and chatting about the race with you in the comments section below).
Can Clint Bowyer defend his title? Will Stewart win for the first time in three years? Or will perhaps a surprise driver come away with some big-time bragging rights?
Catch up on some updates here, and then scroll down to chat about the race:
7:15 p.m. -- Hot laps are underway on the pre-race show (which is free until 8 p.m. Eastern, if you're interested). Several drivers have hit the wall or spun out already, and Bowyer is among them. One cool thing: Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Steve Letarte is doing some color commentary on the broadcast, and it turns out he's a natural.
7:22 p.m. -- Clint Bowyer tells pit reporter Dick Berggren that he and Kasey Kahne were late for hot laps because the Busch Brothers got to the airport before them and put their significant others in the helicopter (the seats were apparently supposed to be for Bowyer and Kahne). "They left poor Kasey Kahne and I standing there!" Bowyer said with a laugh. "I guess they're a pain in everybody's butt."
7:33 p.m. -- Driver introductions are taking place right now. Meanwhile, they're running a pre-recorded video about the event.
Driver intros twitter.com/KKRTeam/status…— Lisa KKR (@KKRTeam) June 6, 2012
7:44 p.m. -- Quick note while we're waiting to get started: Tony Stewart said drivers don't "trade" charity appearances. For example, Stewart doesn't say to Denny Hamlin, "Hey, I'll race in your charity race if you race in mine." The drivers just help each other out to be nice (plus, this event in particular is obviously fun for them).
7:55 p.m. -- Five minutes til the Pay Per View portion of the event goes live. Whether you like Stewart or not, I definitely recommend ordering it. ALL of the money goes directly to the Feed the Children charity (helps low-income families with food).
8:03 p.m. -- Annnnnnd we're live. Tony Stewart reveals Dave Blaney somehow missed the plane in Pocono, but is en route. Ouch. By the way, here's the schedule for tonight:
8:10 p.m. -- Qualifying
9:15 p.m. -- Heat Racing (four 10-lap races)
10:25 p.m. -- Feature (40 laps)
8:08 p.m. -- "Pit reporter" Steve Letarte is interviewing Danica in the car. "I have no idea what I'm doing," she says.
8:14 p.m. -- Invocation and anthem (by country artist Tim Duggar) are complete, and now it's time for qualifying. The booth is Allen Bestwick, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip.
8:23 p.m. -- Michael McDowell, watching at home, was not impressed with Danica's qualifying lap. It was pretty rough.
If your watching the prelude then you understand when is say WOW! That was almost embarrassing.— Michael McDowell (@Mc_Driver) June 7, 2012
8:24 p.m. -- Kyle Busch just jumped the cushion and hit the wall in qualifying. Some decent damage, but he still qualified fourth for now (crowd cheered when he got damage). By the way, Danica is NOT the slowest. That is NHRA star Cruz Pedregon so far.
8:28 p.m. -- Tony Kanaan now slowest of everyone. Wonder if there's bragging rights to NOT be slowest in qualifying?
8:32 p.m. -- New provisional pole-sitter is Austin Dillon. He just knocked Aric Almirola from the top spot for now. Meanwhile, Ron Capps mashed the back end of his car pretty good. Those NHRA guys can't seem to drive very fast in a circle.
8:37 p.m. -- Kurt Busch scrapes the wall in qualifying, too. Lots of cars in the wall so far. Bobby Labonte took a slow, lazy spin as well.
8:38 p.m. -- Austin Dillon is the top qualifier. Only 25 cars took a lap because Dave Blaney still hasn't arrived.
Qualifying (out of 26 drivers):
8:46 p.m. -- Kurt Busch tells Dick Berggren he hasn't raced on dirt in five years, but he seems pumped about the whole thing. Not one person seems like they're anything but totally psyched to be there, actually.
8:55 p.m. -- Here's a pic of new "pit reporter" Steve Letarte. He's pretty good!
9:00 p.m. -- Darrell Waltrip is taking a two-seater ride with Tony Stewart. "You'd have to be a fool to get in the right side of one of these things," says DW, before getting in the right side of one of those things.
9:04 p.m. -- "I want to make him scream like a little girl if I can," Stewart says. "That's my goal." DW looks a bit scared. Maybe it's just an act.
9:05 p.m. -- DW is indeed screaming like a little girl during his two-seater ride with Stewart.
9:10 p.m. -- He even dropped a "Shit!" during his ride. Apparently he really didn't know he was going to take laps with Stewart. He seemed scared. Was it an act? I mean, the guy is a three-time NASCAR champ in days without SAFER barriers!
9:14 p.m. -- Getting ready for the first heat race. Who is in this one? Here's the lineup (top three inverted from qualifying):
9:19 p.m. -- Halfway through the first heat race. Dillon Brothers battling for the top spot, former IndyCar colleagues Kanaan and Danica battling for last.
9:21 p.m. -- Whoops! Leader Ty Dillon just nailed the wall. Still has a big enough lead that he might win though.
9:23 p.m. -- Danica Patrick just crashed to bring out the first caution of the night on the last lap of the first heat race. She's OK, but probably embarrassed.
9:26 p.m. -- INCREDIBLE last two laps of racing after Danica brought out the caution and forced a restart! At the beginning, they were basically FIVE WIDE. Craziness. Anyway, Austin Dillon won while Ty Dillon and Tony Stewart battled for second. Results:
9:29 p.m. -- Already on to Heat No. 2! Didn't even have time to post the lineup before Jimmie Johnson spun out on the opening lap.
9:30 p.m. -- Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman battling for the lead halfway through Heat No. 2.
9:33 p.m. -- Bowyer cruises to the heat win. Newman finishes second, then Aric Almirola. Justin Allgaier surprisingly finished last, even behind Cruz Pedregon. Results:
9:35 p.m. -- Kyle Busch and Ken Schrader among six cars in this third heat race. Bizarrely, Dave Blaney also on track taking hot laps because he just showed up!
9:37 p.m. -- This is weird. Blaney apparently isn't even supposed to be in this race, but is racing with the guys like he is. Kyle Busch leads at halfway point.
9:38 p.m. -- Kyle Busch wins Heat Race No. 3. Results:
9:41 p.m. -- Danica Patrick might be the only person at Eldora who is not having fun. Dick Berggren reported she "declined an interview" after wrecking her car. Crew is working on it. Meanwhile, here we go for Heat No. 4, which features Dave Blaney, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch.
9:43 p.m. -- Dave Blaney spins on the opening lap, so there was a caution. On the restart, Kurt Busch wrecks with JJ Yeley. Not severe damage to either car, but another caution.
9:46 p.m. -- Actually, Kurt Busch took his car back to the pits. Halfway through Heat Race No. 4, Kasey Kahne has the lead.
9:49 p.m. -- Hard crash for Dave Blaney, who tore up the back right side of his car. That brought out a caution and probably ruined his night.
9:51 p.m. -- Kasey Kahne wins the fourth heat, and thus the pole for the feature race (I don't know why the fourth heat winner gets the pole, he just does).
9:59 p.m. -- Danica comes out to present a $25,000 check from her sponsor to Feed the Children. Good to see a worthy charity getting some great attention. She also granted Dick Berggren an interview and Tony Stewart gave Berggren one of his helmets from last season.
10:03 p.m. -- Here's the starting lineup for the actual Prelude to the Dream feature race, courtesy of Samantha Busch:
Went to the media center to get u guys the line up for the feature! Here u go! twitpic.com/9tl9cx— Samantha Busch (@SamanthaBusch) June 7, 2012
10:11 p.m. -- OOPS! They just showed a replay of one of the support races, and a guy drove to Victory Lane, got out and left his car in gear. It started rolling down a ramp and several guys had to stop it from getting away.
10:23 p.m. -- Kurt Busch is out for the night due to damage on his car from a wreck in the heat race. Dick Berggren interviewed him and Kurt said this: "This is pay-per-view, right? I don't want to cuss, but I want to say that was more like premature ejaculation right there." Wow.
10:26 p.m. -- They're about to start the 40-lap main event (caution laps don't count). Top 10 finishers get a food truck to the city of their choice from Feed the Children. Top four starters: Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon.
10:30 p.m. -- Bobby Labonte spins right at the start, so the first lap doesn't even count. This could be pretty wild.
10:35 p.m. -- Yep, pretty wild. Seven cars just got into a crash on the frontstretch, including Bobby Labonte, Ray Evernham, Steve Kinser, David Gilliland, JJ Yeley, Dave Blaney and Danica Patrick (who just spun and didn't really get any damage). The red flag is out for now.
10:38 p.m. -- They can't even make it through a lap without wrecking. This time, it's Jason Leffler and Kenny Schrader. Back to green.
10:40 p.m. -- Sheesh! And another wreck! Ty Dillon, Kenny Wallace and others involved in the latest incident. There might not be anyone left by the time this is over.
10:43 p.m. -- Well, they're finally racing (at least long enough for me to write this without having to stop for a wreck). Kasey Kahne has gotten out to a slight lead over Clint Bowyer.
10:45 p.m. -- Lead change! As Kasey Kahne came up to lap David Gilliland, Clint Bowyer used the momentum to slip by and take over the No. 1 spot on lap 13 of 40. There are no spotters, so Gilliland couldn't tell who was around him.
10:49 p.m. -- Two HUGE things just happened. First of all, Kahne passed Bowyer for the lead and Bowyer tried to get back by him, but Kahne squeezed Bowyer up into the wall. Bowyer got damage and had to retire from the race. Then, Bobby Labonte somehow spun on the track and Kahne hit him at full speed. It was a really hard crash, but fortunately Kahne was OK (his car wasn't). "It's discouraging," Kahne said.
10:53 p.m. -- Bowyer says Kahne can't ride with him back to Pocono after he got "used up" while battling for the lead. He was kidding. I think. He also said Kahne's crash with Labonte was "karma" for putting Bowyer in the wall.
10:56 p.m. -- Kyle Busch is leading the Prelude with eight laps to go, though Tony Stewart is trying to track him down.
10:59 p.m. -- Kyle Busch just won the Prelude for the first time. Tony Stewart was second.
11:01 p.m. -- Busch says the win "means a lot, it's cool." Here's a look at the full results (the top 10 finishers get a food truck to their city of choice):
12 months ago Update 0 comments
Tony Stewart has once again assembled an All-Star lineup for his charity dirt race, the Prelude to the Dream.
Tonight's race at Eldora Speedway includes drivers from nearly every form of motorsports in the United States: NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA and dirt racing. It's an impressive collection of talent, and Stewart has said there's even a waiting list of drivers who wish to be included in the event.
Here's a list of the drivers who are scheduled to run in the Prelude tonight (8 p.m. Eastern, HBO Pay Per View) at Eldora Speedway:
12 months ago Update 0 comments
The 2012 edition of Tony Stewart's famed charity dirt race, the Prelude to the Dream, will benefit the charity Feed The Children after previously helping children's hospitals and military families.
With so many charities hoping to participate in the event (all of the HBO Pay Per View proceeds go directly to Feed The Children), how does Stewart pick which one is worthy?
"It's an easier process than it sounds," Stewart said. "Every year, there's just been some organization that hits us, and it just seems like it's the right thing to do and it's the right group."
Stewart said "every possible charity out there" has inquired about being involved with the Prelude, but when it came time to decide on which one to choose this year, it was a no-brainer.
"Especially with all the tornadoes in the past year, it was easy with that decision," Stewart said. "When Feed The Children came up, everybody knew it was the right thing to do."
If you're interested in ordering the Prelude tonight to watch the action live from Eldora Speedway, here's information on how to do so.
about 1 year ago Update 1 comment
This has been a year of firsts for Danica Patrick.
Not only is this her first full year running the entire slate of Nationwide Series races, but she is also making her first trips to Darlington, Talladega and...Eldora?
Yes, that's right. Another first was added earlier this week when it was announced Patrick would be taking part in team owner Tony Stewart's annual "Prelude to the Dream" Late Model charity race June 6 at Eldora Speedway.
"I want to do well, but I realize I have zero experience and I have a lot of other things I need to put my focus into this year, so I'm going to try to go into it with more of an open mind," Patrick said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Prelude to the Dream will mark only the second time Patrick has competed on a dirt track – her first was on a go-kart track located right outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway when she was 14 years old.
"My experience is limited and I'm really going into it with more of an attitude of just having fun, enjoying myself and raising money for hungry kids and take it all in," Patrick said.
Patrick will join Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Ryan Newman, 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, Aric Almirola, Truck Series rookie of the year contender Ty Dillon and the aforementioned Stewart as drivers who have already committed to running the charity race with proceeds benefitting Feed The Children.
"I'm excited," Stewart said Friday between Sprint Cup practice sessions. "I told her, 'Don't feel like you have to come do this.' She said, 'No, I really want to do this.' I'm excited for her. I don't think it's something that she has had a chance to do very much. It will be fun to get her in an environment that is definitely new to her, for sure."
Added Jeff Gordon: "Those cars are a blast to drive. I don't know how much dirt experience that she has, but it will be an education, for sure."